The Emergency Teacher: The Inspirational Story of a New Teacher in an Inner-City School
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More challenging than the classroom are the trials she faces outside it, including the antics of an overwhelmed first-year principal, the politics that prevent a million-dollar grant from reaching her students, and the administration’s shocking insistence that teachers maintain the appearance of success in the face of utter defeat, even if it means falsifying test scores. Asquith tells a classic story of succeeding against insurmountable odds.
With a foreword by bestselling author Mark Bowden and an introduction by award-winning educator Dr. Harry K. Wong, The Emergency Teacher will inspire every teacher—be they first-timers or experienced professionals—to make a difference.
got noticed. With long black hair and a dimpled smile, her beauty had already earned her unwanted attention throughout Julia de Burgos. Either the boys would harass her with catcalls or the girls would sneer and make catty comments. Most likely out of fear, Vanessa stuck to my side, asking to eat lunch in the classroom and insisting on sitting in the front row. We got along. She was also intelligent. Instead of journal writing, I’d given her an essay question for a competition I’d found in a teen
reports, vocabulary words, and gentle, nice Ms. Mercer, who baked us cookies and made her classroom colorful and fun. Sixth grade for ten-year-old Valerie was a daily struggle with bullying, humiliation, and frustration. For a moment, we all felt guilty. I kneeled at her desk and protectively wrapped an arm around her gasping frame. “Valerie, just go to Mrs. G., okay?” I urged. She wriggled out of her desk, her high heels landing on the floor with a clack. She stumbled right out of the classroom.
teacher at Julia de Burgos ever actually saw Rogia, though. She was one of the students labeled “educable mentally retarded” (EMR). Of the three special education categories, EMR was the most grave—the most severely dysfunctional. The first was emotional support (ES). These students were mainstreamed into regular classes and supposedly given extra assistance in the form of personal tutors and special classes during the day in which trained special education teachers helped them with their course
to page ...” That turned off students. Teaching was like writing a newspaper story. You had to have a jazzy lede that grabs the reader’s attention. One late afternoon I reached pedagogical nirvana. The class was social studies; the lesson was mapping skills. I began with “Tell me about a time you were lost.” I took a few answers. “Now, what would have helped you find your way home faster?” Hands shot up. “A compass,” said Josh. “A cell phone,” said Vanessa. “A helicopter,” said Luis. Gee,
the Principal. 3. No student is to receive a grade lower than a “64.” 4. Students attending and completing satisfactory work in Saturday School will have the Saturday School grade count as 25% of their marks. Ms. Davis had been persuaded to raise all grades to 64, supposedly to give her students a chance to pass the year. The principal created this Saturday School, and even if a kid received a grade as low as 66 it was enough to eke by. The students would pass. The principal would boast a